Head of the National Commission for the Affairs of Detainees and Missing Persons, Yasser Al-Farhan, said that the information detailed by a report by the Association of Detainees and the Missing in Sednaya Prison (ADMSP) about the Assad regime’s extortion of huge amounts of money from the families of detainees is the tip of the iceberg. He stressed that the Assad regime has a proven track record of extorting the Syrian people and living off their suffering as a major part of its strategies.
Al-Farhan said the families’ payment of bribes in exchange for obtaining information or seeing their loved ones or winning their release is a stark example of the rampant corruption of the Assad regime. He indicated that the network of corruption starts from security personnel and officers way up to judges and senior state officials.
Moreover, Al-Farhan pointed out that the Assad regime resorts to these tactics in order to ease its economic crisis, especially following the US and European economic sanctions.
Al-Farhan called on the international community to ratchet up pressure on the Assad regime and its allies to force it to disclose the fate of the missing and unconditionally release all detainees who were detained because of their political views.
Families of detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime are routinely forced to bribe officials to be allowed to visit them or to win their release, according to a recent report by ADMSP which revealed the vast scale of extortion in the Assad regime’s detention system.
The report says forced disappearance is a major strategy of the Assad regime, designed to control and intimidate people. “Arrest and monetary extortion of the population constitute a great source of funding of the state, and its repressive apparatus specifically,” it says. (Source: SOC’s Media Department)